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dodgy contracts or the three card trick

 
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topshop



Joined: 29 Feb 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: dodgy contracts or the three card trick Reply with quote

I thought I had seen it all after three decades in the business but I guess not. When I was recruited for my present company I was sent a document entitled Employment Offer Letter by email with English on one side and Arabic on the other. The introductory preamble talks about the department and the job description and states that the HR department willl shortly offer you a formal open contract of employmen. It seemed ok so I signed it and handed it on my first day. It was countersigned by the HR director but not in my presence.

During the first months of my employment I occasionallly asked for a copy of my contract. Unfortunately I was given a variety of excuses so I never actually received one. Now the time has come to say goodbye and I have asked to see a copy of a Labour contract to ensure that the final settlement is correct. The company, have by the way, terminated my employment without cause. On pressuring the HR department they constantly told me that since I have signed a Job Offer Letter then that is the same as a contract. When I persisted they produced a contract with a Labour Department stamp and my signature minus a date on each page of the document.

I however am completely sure that I never signed this contract and I am suspicious that these signatures are forged. They keep asking me if I am sure that I did not forget that I signed this contract and my response is that I would always put the date beside my signnature when I sign something. The signatures are close to what I use but also vary. The company then told me that more than half of the employees in the company have job offer letters in lieu of contracts and they even refer to this job offer letter as contract in their employee handbook. I am surprised that a large government company like these people would risk doing that. But then again I suppose all is fair in love and war and the GCC?

Of course my main concern when I meet the HR person next week is that the final settlement is correct as per the Qatari Labour Law. I am confused about differntiating between two kinds of contracts in the State of Qatar. Has anybody else ever had this experience? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 545
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: dodgy contracts or the three card trick Reply with quote

topshop wrote:
I thought I had seen it all after three decades in the business but I guess not. When I was recruited for my present company I was sent a document entitled Employment Offer Letter by email with English on one side and Arabic on the other. The introductory preamble talks about the department and the job description and states that the HR department willl shortly offer you a formal open contract of employmen. It seemed ok so I signed it and handed it on my first day. It was countersigned by the HR director but not in my presence.

During the first months of my employment I occasionallly asked for a copy of my contract. Unfortunately I was given a variety of excuses so I never actually received one. Now the time has come to say goodbye and I have asked to see a copy of a Labour contract to ensure that the final settlement is correct. The company, have by the way, terminated my employment without cause. On pressuring the HR department they constantly told me that since I have signed a Job Offer Letter then that is the same as a contract. When I persisted they produced a contract with a Labour Department stamp and my signature minus a date on each page of the document.

I however am completely sure that I never signed this contract and I am suspicious that these signatures are forged. They keep asking me if I am sure that I did not forget that I signed this contract and my response is that I would always put the date beside my signnature when I sign something. The signatures are close to what I use but also vary. The company then told me that more than half of the employees in the company have job offer letters in lieu of contracts and they even refer to this job offer letter as contract in their employee handbook. I am surprised that a large government company like these people would risk doing that. But then again I suppose all is fair in love and war and the GCC?

Of course my main concern when I meet the HR person next week is that the final settlement is correct as per the Qatari Labour Law. I am confused about differntiating between two kinds of contracts in the State of Qatar. Has anybody else ever had this experience? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

This probably doesn't help you much, but the practice of treating a signature on an offer letter as signing a contract (when an actual contract does exist elsewhere, but is not provided directly to the employee) is a common practice for university positions in the US. The offer letter will be a couple pages long, and give some information (how many courses you'll be teaching, retirement benefits, leave, etc.), but then it will say something to the effect of "and everything else in the actual contract".

I guess the difference in the US is that the actual contract can usually be found on the HR web site, or it will be provided (only) if you ask for it. Personally, I wouldn't sign an offer letter without seeing the contract first. I know, hindsight is 20/20.

Obviously, I agree with you that not providing you with the actual contract when you asked for it, and forging your signature are bad practices.
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Articles 38 and 49 of the Qatar Labour Law
may be viewed as relevant in this situation...

http://www.qatarembassy.net/Qatar_Labour_Law.asp

or maybe not... Rolling Eyes

Geronimo
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